In this week’s Work in Progress podcast, IBM’s Justina Nixon-Saintil, VP and Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, joins me to discuss the company’s expansion of its free SkillsBuild jobs and career training program.

“At IBM, we believe everyone should have the chance to succeed. What’s really motivating us is how technology is changing society,” explains Nixon-Saintil.

Just last week, the company announced that it is growing SkillsBuild by partnering with more than 30 additional nonprofits, governments, and other agencies around the world with a goal of providing 500,000 workers from underserved populations with new skills to help them land jobs in in-demand fields, including cybersecurity and data analytics.

“When you think about the future of automation—how people are going to recover from the pandemic—there’s the sense of urgency to make sure that everyone has the skills they need to be successful and move into meaningful jobs,” she adds.

Nixon-Saintil says the coalition—which now totals 90 organizations—will work to help underserved populations such as veterans, women, minorities, refugees, and unemployed young adults. “We believe we have to take big and bold steps to make sure that we provide access to tech skills, to workplace learning skills, regardless of anyone’s background,” Nixon-Saintil tells me.

In addition to the training, the initiative will help make a connection between the newly-trained job seekers and potential employers.

ManpowerGroup is the company that is providing the employment opportunities for those who attained the credentials and badges from the IBM SkillsBuild platform. Manpower will bring those opportunities to the forefront. We do know that there is demand.”

Nixon-Saintil and I discuss what success looks like to IBM.

“Number one, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we are not leaving anyone behind especially as technology and innovation and automation is taking place in society. So, we want to make sure that we are moving people forward, making sure they have the skills they need, and making sure that they can move into meaningful jobs. It’s not enough to just have people registered on the platform.”

“In the long run, we would love to know that people continue to reskill and be upskilled because we believe continuous learning is how you become more and more successful in the future. Those are our measures of success.”

You can listen to the full podcast here, or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 189: Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM, VP & Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch and Melissa Panzer
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.

Download the transcript for this podcast here.
You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts